Brutal Midwest cold enough to cause trouble for travelers

Published: Jan. 29, 2019 at 8:55 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Frigid low temperatures are coming to Wichita Wednesday morning, but the overall impact won't be so harsh as it will in other parts of the Midwest preparing for near-record low temperatures and dangerous wind chills.

The miserable cold comes with a negative effect on some travelers. AAA (Triple-A) Kansas says it expects a significant spike in the number of service calls it'll take this week for dead batteries.

"The cold weather is really hard on vehicles, especially batteries," explains Shawn Steward with AAA Kansas. "We'll find a lot of dead batteries, non-start issues that we have to come out and help people with."

Before temperatures drop too low, Steward suggests having battery charges tested. Another suggestion to keep your vehicle running smoothly against challenging elements is to make sure your tires are aired up.

"Tires are another thing that is impacted by the cold," Steward says. "People don't think about it, but every 10 degrees that the temperature drops, your car tires can lose a pound of air pressure."

Drivers aren't the only ones impacted by the dangerous cold. Also feeling the pressure are airline pilots, but for the same reason as drivers.

"Cold weather is always a factor one way or the other, with aircraft engines starting, things like that, just like your car at home." says Brad Christopher with the Wichita Airport Authority. "So, it creates challenges for any mechanical device."

Christopher is the director of airports for the Wichita Airport Authority, as well as a pilot. He says travelers may experience delays in coming days, but not because of what's happening in Wichita.

"Much of the time, that's not necessarily because of local conditions, local weather, local runway conditions," he says. "Normally that's at a departure, destination location."